Winter Souping

Winter Souping

Creamed Butternut Squash Soup

Years ago when my children were younger and at home we went through some pretty rough times.   I remember feeling more depressed and discouraged about life that it was hard to even move.  One day I decided that I had to get out of the funk I was in.  I went to the store and bought supplies and containers with lids and came home and made a huge pot of soup.  Gallons of a wonderful soup that I put into containers and told my daughter we were going souping.   Off we went visiting those we thought could use a small tub of soup.  It was amazing how it actually healed my heart and soul and I soon forgot my own problems as my daughter and I visited and served soup all day.

Souping has become a regular part of my life. Only now I use my Electric Pressure cooker or Instant Pot to create great soups in minutes. Soup is a wonderful comfort food. Especially in the colder months. The best part is that soups can be made in minutes rather than hours with todays pressure cookers/instant pots. From chicken soups to hearty stews almost all soups can be made in minutes with a pressure cooker.

Fresh Ingredients are always the best.
I love using my garden tomatoes for a wonderful tomato soup.

Soups are basically anything you desire. I have a few standard rules I wanted to share with you in your quest for making soups.

Red Meats and Pork: When cooking meats for stews or hearty chilies I perfer to cook the meat first and then add remaining ingredients. I will cut into cubes and brown the red meat or pork dredged with whole grain flour and seasonings in some oil and pressure it for 30 minutes. After it is cooked I will add the remaining ingredients, vegetables, small grains, potatoes, etc.

Chicken and Ground Meats: When using chicken, cut into cubes or ground pork, beef, turkey, or sausages, I will slightly brown them with oil and add all remaining ingredients and cook for six to seven minutes.

Whole Grains: I love adding grains to my soups. If I am using smaller grains, like quinoa, millet, white rice, cracked grains, and teff, etc. I will add these smaller grains to the soup at the beginning. Heavier grains, like barley, Kamut, brown rice, etc. I will cook them before hand or with the meat. And after they are cooked I will add them. Or if I have already cooked grains in the refrigerator I will add them at the beginning. A few more minutes of cooking will not ruin them.

Pastas: Most pastas cook quickly in the pressure cooker. Six minutes or less. So when I am adding pasta to a soup I take that into consideration. I would never put pasta in a recipe that takes longer then 6 minutes to cook. Opening up the soup and adding pasta at the end works well.

Potatoes and Vegetables: Most vegetables and smaller chopped potatoes cook in under six minutes. Freeze dried or dehydrated work extremely well in a Pressure Cooker. Six minutes seems to be the magical number. It totally brings them back to fresh. Just remember size does change the cooking time somewhat. My rule of thumb is “less is better because I can always do more”. Meaning I can put the lid on and cook it a few moments more but I cannot un cook something.

Soup making can be fun and comforting. When you make a soup add ingredients that require the same amount of cooking time or add the ones that need less at the end. So simple to create great soups with these basic tips.

Creamed Fresh Tomato Soup Recipe

2 lbs of fresh heirloom tomatoes, quartered

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth

2 tablespoons oil

2 cans evaporated canned milk

Salt and pepper

Croutons for Garnish

In your Pressure cooker place oil and saute onions and garlic. Add tomatoes and stock. Place lid on cooker and pressure for six minutes. Remove lid and place all cooked tomatoes in Blender. Blend well until smooth. Place back in pressure cooker and add butter and canned milk. Stir well and keep warm until ready to serve.